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In my last blog I told you about one of my most favorite places on earth.  Seaside, Florida is a favorite because of the architecture.  That is happens to be on the Gulf of Mexico is an added bonus.  I feel drawn to the cottage style houses, the clapboard siding, and the pretty paint colors.  So, it was no surprise when I came to Charlotte to go house hunting and I fell in love with a neighborhood known as “Ardrey.”  Actually, it looks a lot like Seaside.  If you want to revisit the photos of Seaside, they will appear right after this blog entry.  As a reminder, here are a few photos of the homes there.

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Ardrey has many green spaces.  Below is a photo of the boulevard with a large grassy park in the center.  The trees have no leaves right now, but the park is still a popular place.  Some homes here back up to green space but most of them have the garage in the back and an alley runs between homes that face two different streets.  The “boulevard” homes are below.

Here is a view that was taken in the summer.  Every home has a front porch and the homes are painted pretty colors just like in Seaside.  I read that the architects for Ardrey were thinking about the homes in Charleston, S.C. when they did the designs.  Maybe the architects in Seaside were doing the same thing.

There are two main entrances.  The one that I use half of the time is by the turtle fountain.  The turtle is an unofficial symbol for the neighborhood.  Children love to walk up to see this charming fountain.

In the summer, people give extra special attention to keeping their lawns nice.  There are flower boxes and hanging baskets of flowers.  The lot sizes are small.  That is one of the reasons why I wanted to come here.  You see, I am over yard work. For forty years I fertilized and weeded and planted and mowed.  Now, I can do my yard work in a few hours and then enjoy the rest of the day doing something else. Below is a yellow house next to a pink house, next to a turquoise house.

The streets are wide and there are sidewalks on both sides of the street.  I would love it if there were small pathways covered in oyster shells like in Seaside, but that is not the case.  People can walk dogs, stroll with carriages, and take walks on nice wide sidewalks.  One day, when the trees are fully grown, it will be like walking in a park.

The pretty green house below might be too colorful for most neighborhoods, but in Ardrey individuality in paint colors is encouraged!

The homes remind me of the homes in Iowa where I was raised. Look at this charming cottage style complete with gingerbread on the front porch and the American flag proudly displayed from the porch post.  Most homes have either a white picket fence or a wrought iron fence.  Some have gates and some do not.

If you did not know better, you might think that the pink house below is in Charleston, South Carolina.  I am amazed that the palm trees grow so well here.

Here are a few of the homes that were pictured on the internet. I think that perhaps these are real estate photos from days gone by.

I found this photo of homes on our street.  The lime green home in the foreground is our house.

The main body of water here is the community swimming pool.  We don’t have to worry about hurricanes coming right on to us from the Gulf!  Maybe that is a good thing.

Last night, we had a freak snow storm.  In about half an hour huge flakes covered us with about three inches of snow.  Whether you live in a warm or a cold climate, I think that you will enjoy these photos I took this morning of our beautiful snowfall.

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I will end with the next photo…I see this charming home when I look out my front window. Donna changes the decoration on the front gate often.  Right now, there is a circle made from red hearts.  Happy belated Valentine’s Day to you!

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No matter where you live, take some time to get out and enjoy your neighborhood and your neighbors.  Create and be happy!

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